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Two students receive Menditto Scholarship

Third-year students Allie Filiatraut and Sarah Herbruck were recently awarded the Menditto Scholarship in recognition of their hard work in CEC. 

The scholarship, endowed by alumni Jim and Jane Menditto, is given annually to undergraduate students in the MME department who have demonstrated high academic performance, as well as achievement outside the classroom. From now until they graduate, this year’s recipients will receive $1000 of financial aid each semester. 

In addition to majoring in mechanical engineering, Allie Filiatraut is double minoring in computer and paper science.Allie Filiatraut Headshot 

She is also a student athlete: a thrower for the Miami women’s track and field team. 

“I think that our department has done a wonderful job of making it easier to be a student athlete, especially in a college as difficult as CEC,” Filiatraut said. “They do a really great job of helping me and making sure I’m on track… so I’m a big supporter of the department, they’ve been wonderful for me.”

Filiatraut is a member of SWE and TAPPI (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry). She met most of her best friends through these organizations, and they have put her on the map of industry professionals. 

In the summer after her freshman year, Filiatraut held an internship with Mercedes Benz where she worked as a web development intern. She was slated to begin another internship, but COVID-19 swooped in and canceled that opportunity. 

Filiatraut remains optimistic, though, and has already accepted an internship for this upcoming summer with Georgia Pacific; her first job in the paper industry. 

After graduating from Miami, Filiatraut plans to work in the paper industry, specifically with retail and consumer packaging. 

Filiatraut’s co-recipient, Sarah Herbruck, is also majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in computer science.Sarah Herbruck Headshot 

This past summer, Herbruck worked with the Chagrin Falls Water Pollution Control Facility in Cleveland. 

Now, Herbruck is conducting research with Dr. Mark Sidebottom for DuPont, a science and innovation company. Although COVID-19 has postponed most of the hands-on experience with machines, Herbruck is hopeful that their machine designs will come to life soon. 

When she’s not working to solve real-world problems with experts in the field, Herbruck spends her time as a teaching assistant for static modeling of mechanical systems. 

Outside the classroom, she is a member of Theta Tau and AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics). 

“Basically [AIAA] is an excuse to build airplanes, which I really like,” she said.

Herbruck has developed a love for design, and after graduation she plans to work in the aerospace field.  

Both Herbruck and Filiatraut are grateful for the opportunity for their work to be appreciated. 

“I’m not unseen,” Herbruck said. “I am a hard worker, and I mostly work hard to prove it to myself, but I also like to be acknowledged. So that was a big thing, and I’m glad that my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.”  

For Filiatraut, the scholarship reaffirms her decision to be at Miami. 

“To be recognized and for my professors to know my name — for the head of our department to know my name and to be working with me everyday — is something that’s great about Miami,” Filiatraut said. “I love that we’re such a big school with such a small-school feel.” 

Dr. Amit Shukla, who nominated both students, found another cause for celebration. 

“A lot of times in the media, people say women can’t be engineers,” Shukla said, “but here we have many, many, many women students who are very successful, and they go on to do many good things. So I just think it’s a double-celebration for us.” 

By Maggie Peña, CEC Reporter